Water. It seems like a simple thing, right? We’re told to drink it regularly and keep hydrated (at least half a gallon/2 liters a day). We shower in it, wash our dishes with it, even make amusement parks for it (Who doesn’t love a water slide?). As a result, it’s become something we take for granted. But safe, clean water is becoming more scarce. And we need to do something about water waste.

The cruciality of reducing water waste

We use water for pretty much everything: when we put on the kettle for a cup of tea, water our beloved plants, cook some soup. Almost everything relies on water, and most of the time, we don’t even realize how much we use because water has both direct and indirect purposes. The CDC outlines some of the uses that we depend on for water in a direct way:

But, what are the purposes that we use water for, without even realizing it? The CDC outlines the following ways that we use our water supply indirectly:

In fact, the majority of our water supply is used for these indirect purposes such as agriculture, industry and commerce, energy, recreation and further household needs. Here is the problem though: water is finite. Although we tend to think of water as an infinite source, we only have so much of it. Especially with rising temperatures and climate change, accessibility to water is becoming increasingly problematic. 

This, in turn, becomes a problem for us as water is vital and fundamental in our lives. The WHO highlights that access to safe, affordable and—most importantly—sufficient water, is critical for our wellbeing and a basic human right. 


Depleting water supplies 

Climate change is majorly impacting our water resources. Higher temperatures and increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather conditions impacts the amount and distribution of water sources—rainfall, snow, river flows, and even groundwater.

If water levels continue to deplete, this could have adverse effects on our health and food security, as well as escalate tensions around refugee dynamics and political instability. 

Due to climate change, droughts are also increasingly common, making water even more scarce than before. This doesn’t only affect water-supply but also drainage, sewer infrastructure, and the functioning of wastewater treatment plants; if these systems don’t work properly, it can affect public health. 

The UN even started an initiative: World Water Day. It was started in 1993 and, to this day, continues to raise awareness over the importance of water in our lives. Every year, it highlights how we can do better to keep our water supply clean, healthy, and also sufficient for everyone on the planet. 

Preserving our water supply is increasingly crucial and it’s important that we don’t waste the water that we do have. As we continuously depend heavily on water and climate change impacts its availability, wasting water is really not an option for us anymore. 

In the UK, the average person uses up to 40 gallons (150 liters) of water every day, but this can rise up to even 924.6 gallons (3,500 liters) per day, if we take into account all of our different daily activities that rely on water (for example, flushing the toilet, doing laundry, showers, etc). 

How can you make a difference?

Despite the immense usage of water, there is so much that we can do ourselves that can help the current situation; every little action helps! 

There’s actually many modifications we can make in our everyday habits that can greatly help reduce water waste. While these changes may seem small, they pack a big punch:

Tackling water waste doesn’t mean that we need to fully restrict the amount of water that we use. Instead, we need to take more mindful approaches to the way that we consume water. Something as simple as taking a shorter shower or not running the tap for unnecessary amounts of time can already make a major impact with a little extra effort.